President Trump will travel to Florida for the historic SpaceX launch next week, the White House said Friday.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are preparing for a historic Demo-2 mission on Wednesday, which will launch NASA astronauts in space from American Earth for the first time since 2011.
It will be the first time a private company rather than the national government sends astronauts into orbit. It is also only the fifth time in US history that NASA astronauts are flying a new spacecraft for the first time.
“A new era of human space flight is beginning to begin,”
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Vice President Pence said this week that he believes the launch will serve as a sign of hope for Americans in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“When that rocket is released next week, it will remind the American people that even in the midst of the most challenging times, America is moving forward,” the vice president told Fox News during an interview at NASA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.
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“America continues to lead with courage and bravery. Just like every American family has done, the NASA family did it through the entire coronavirus pandemic. They stayed on mission.”
The demo-2 mission is scheduled for May 27 at the Kennedy Space Center, when NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will launch on the Falcon 9 rocket.
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It will mark a step in the Trump administration’s goal of restoring American domination in space. In December 2019, Trump signed a defense spending bill approving the establishment of the space force as the sixth branch of the US military.
The Space Force recently released a recruitment video and told potential cadets: “Maybe your purpose on this planet is not on this planet.”
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Fox News’ John Roberts and Kristin Fisher contributed to this report.